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Swapping back pain scapegoats 

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on PainScience.com are updated regularly over the years.

This little article about back pain wisely challenges the fearful assumption that spines are fragile, and that’s great … but unfortunately it just shifts the blame to “weakness” instead. Sure, exercise is pretty good for back pain — that is well established — but probably not because backs are weak.

How about we stop blaming back pain on any tangible property of the spine? Fragility, weakness, posture, degeneration, etc … they all miss the point. Pain (especially chronic pain) is multifactorial and neurological by nature and rarely has a tidy physical explanation or solution. We need to be okay with that.

Personally, I would prefer to have a strong back, because reasons … but “back pain insurance” is far down the list. We can sing the praises of a strong back all we like: the people who have both strong backs and pain are not going to go away, and there’s plenty of them. There is no compelling evidence that weakness is a risk factor for back pain.

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